Extra coils may be needed :(

Hi all, I’m 7 months post coiling & have recently been for my first follow-up MRI. The consultant says that there is still a small amount of blood entering the aneurysm & there may be a chance that a few more coils may need to be put in :frowning: He’s decided that I should have another MRI in 6 months & he’ll decided then. I was quite upset as I was hoping the results would show that the aneursym had been totally blocked off & that would be the end of it, but instead I have to wait & worry for a further 6 months as to whether I’m gonna need a further procedure! He was quite confident that at the moment it wasn’t dangerous & was unlikely to leak or hemmorhage again, however I can’t help but wonder & worry. Has anyone else been in a similar situation? Any reassurance would be gratefully recieved, thanks in advanced, Claire :slight_smile: x

Hi Claire - at my 1 year MRI it was found that I too had what they thought was leaking/compacting. Went in for an angiogram knowing that if more coils were needed then they would just put them in then and there instead of going in for yet another procedure. Turns out all was good and no more coils were needed so I was sent home the same day. If coils were needed it would of been just an overnight stay. I'm truly sorry you didn't get the news you were hoping for - please keep us posted.

Sending good thoughts your way,


Yes...Claire...at my 18 months angiogram they too found a small area that blood was getting through to my aneurysm...I was so upset...they told me that there was too much trauma from my coiling so that they would wait 2 years to do another angiogram and at that time decide if more coils be added...I go June 2014...it was very disappointing...but there is a chance it will occlude during that time...so I decided to move on and wait...and all is ok...well I have issues, but not related to the blood feeding the aneurysm...truthfully you need to live life and not let the brain aneurysm decide your life...but be proactive if you feel anything out of the ordinary...if you have faith, hang on to it...~ Gotcha in my Thoughts ~ Colleen

I am17 mos post coiling. Started having the vertigo again. It had gotten much better and was only happening occasionally. Dr did an angiogram and the coils had compacted in the aneurysm that ruptured. The unruptured one has not changed. I am scheduled to go in on August 30 & be re coiled. The vertigo got even worse after that day was set so I am going to see if it can be moved up. I knew that this was a possibility but when the Annie ruptured coiling was the best option to fix it. Just stay in contact with your dr. Wishing you peace.

Hi Claire,

Sorry to hear about your news, but please don't be too down about it. The initial coiling, even if it doesn't achieve complete occlusion, is still definitely a very helpful step on the road there. The fact that only a small bit of blood is able to enter the aneurysm means a hugely decreased risk of bleeding versus an untreated aneurysm. They definitely wouldn't leave you for 6 months if they felt there was any statistically significant risk of re-bleeding - which I know is not comforting, perhaps, but it is definitely the case.

Enduring a rupture is so frightening, and it certainly fills you with paranoia and fear (or did me at least!) - and I can't tell you exactly how to feel because my 6 month scan was better than expected - but you have to be positive and realise you are on the road to complete recovery. Either your next 6 month scan will show that occlusion has been achieved (which will then be confirmed in another scan maybe a year after that), or they will add some extra coils to get you there if they need to. You haven't had the perfect outcome, but it is still ok - your coils are doing their job, it doesn't sound like they are moving/causing problems - just that maybe you will need a little top up. Getting extra coils added wouldn't be a huge ordeal, the operation is actually over pretty quickly and the risks are very low with any good neuro team. Also, because there would be no new rupture, you won't face nearly the recovery ordeal that you've had to endure when you had the rupture!

I know sometimes it helps to read a story with a good outcome when you feel bad about your own current situation, so I'll share mine and hopefully it helps - my aneurysm ruptured in May 2009, and I was really pretty wrecked by it. Like you, I stayed conscious, and was coiled quickly. I had more complications in hospital however, and had to stay there for 7 weeks, 2-3 of them in high dependency wards due to vasospasm and low blood pressure problems. But I got out and after 8 weeks rest at home, I went back to work. I had a lot of headaches and numbness issues for a long time, but my 6 month scan was good and my 2 year scan showed complete occlusion. I was discharged by my neurosurgeon in Aug 2011. Despite the discharge, I've still had scares - I got Bell's Palsy at one stage and couldn't move my half my face for a month! - but things have been manageable. Since then, my headaches have slowly faded... I really never have numbness now, and while more prone to a headache than I was pre-haemorrhage, anything I experience is very treatable with over-the-counter pain medication. I've been going to night class for the past year too, and am about to start back at University full time doing a new degree. I feel like a lot of my life these past few years has been a limbo of fear... but we're stronger than our fear and our aneurysms and now I'm looking forward to life and the future again.

I hope that doesn't seem like an annoying good story when you feel down about your own situation (but fair enough if it does just a little!) - I am hoping that you will see that although I had different setbacks to yours, I still had setbacks... and I made it through and complete occlusion is a goal worth trucking on to achieve! You're going to get there, this is just a little hurdle in the way.

Be brave, you've come through the worst bit, I promise!


thanks for your reply bruce, its actually made new feel a lot better :) sorry to hear you had such bad setbacks but am glad you came through it! I feel fine most of the time, although I do get almost daily headaches :( consultant was certain that they had nothing to do with the blood that's still entering the aneurysm & was simply due to the haemorrhage & the trauma my brain's been through.

Since finding out that complete occlusion hasn't occurred the paranoia is awful :( just constantly thinking what ifs & worrying that it'll haemorrhage again but as you & family have said the consultant wouldn't want to leave me for 6 months if there was any significant risk, but trying to tell myself that isn't working at the moment :(

I know there's not a lot I can do about my situation, other than wait, but I think speaking to people who have gone through the same situation really is helping :)

Thanks again for replying & I wish you all the best in your future!

Claire -x-

Oh any time, Claire, you are so welcome. For what it is worth I can share two other things with you!

1) As I said, I had more or less perfect progress towards occlusion at 6 months and I was still paranoid all the time about another haemorrhage, despite the positive scan - I went to the ER more than once freaking out when I had a bad headache combined with numbness (I think 3 times, to be exact) - it may be comforting to know that they are VERY understanding and expect extreme paranoia from us SAH survivors - an ER doc once told me, 'listen, don't apologise, I would give you a CT scan if you came in here with a broken toe!' So... maybe remind yourself that you have every right to feel paranoid and maybe that it isn't just because of the progress at your scan? I figure it might help!

2) At the same sort of stage you are at now, I still had quite severe headache/migraine issues - your consultant is right, the pain is due to the trauma caused by the bleed and all that foreign blood being where it isn't supposed to be. The small amount of blood that can enter your aneurysm isn't capable of causing pain by itself as far as my anatomical understanding goes. I was told on leaving the hospital that my headaches from the SAH could last several years but would fade notably after the first year. I found that to be pretty true, for the first year I had to regularly use painkillers, but after that they slowly subsided in frequency and duration. Now I have pretty much normal headache patterns, although I do find that if I do anything that would normally maybe cause a headache (get a cold, or get a hangover!) then I definitely get a powerful one! But I think that's ok... I just think of it as having a sensitive brain and it isn't much of an issue.

Anyway - hope all this jabbering helps you to know that your paranoia and your headaches are really normal and both will get better as you go along. Be kind to yourself and try not to be too impatient (this is rich coming from me, but there you go!)


I go for 3 month follow up in two weeks. Still having headaches from coiling/stents for 2 large/giant aneurysms. Very complex case. Concerning.

hi Claire- ineeded recoiling to occlude 1 yr post sah emergency coiling, thank God they got it 100 %- and if need be this will be your outcome as well but hoping and praying it seals itself off. The recoiling is much like an Angiogram but with more anesthesia I think. Hang in there and try not to worry~~

Next week I go for another MRA. I have had so many MRAs, CTs and Angiograms I lost count. Like you, my coils have compacted and the aneurysm is now within about 1 to 2 MM of its size when it ruptured. I have been to see some very high profile doctors and they all say the same thing. In my case, due to location and physiology it is “too dangerous” to do anything else. So every 4 or 5 months they look at it to see ifs it’s getting to the point where the choice becomes clearer.

Coil competition is fairly common and sometimes it is easily retreated or just watched. It sounds like in your case retreating if necessary is definitely an option. That is a very good position to be in. All I can say is try not to dwell on it and keep yourself busy. I don’t look at my situation as there is some sort on imminent disaster waiting for me. But rather that each day I wake up is a bonus day since my rupture. I am back to work full time and volunteer at a hospital helping other people. It has been very therapeutic and fulfilling for me.

Best of luck to you and keep us posted.